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America’s Next Top Model 8: Why Felicia is Not a Top Modelby Jenn Brasler -- 03/26/2007
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I really liked Felicia and thought she had a good chance of making it to the final three, so I was surprised to see her cut so early in the competition. This week at least, I think that almost everyone was impressive, and as Tyra said, the judges had to focus on more than just photo shoots. Felicia didn’t quite have the whole model package, so she was, unfortunately, the one who was cut. Why didn’t she have what the judges were looking for? Let’s take a look at the Top Model Tips to find out.
Tip #1 is to be open to and welcome change. Felicia was very open to everything she needed to do in the competition. In fact, she often helped the other girls when they were faced with having to do new things or undergo changes. The best way of judging a girl’s comfort with change is to see how she reacts to her makeover. Felicia liked hers, but she would have liked a more drastic change - her new hair wasn’t different enough from her old hair. I think she would have adjusted to anything the judges threw at her.
The second top is to know something about the fashion industry. I really can’t be sure what Felicia knew or didn’t know about modeling before she came into the competition. She was never really tested on her knowledge of the industry and we didn’t see her discussing it with any of the other girls. I’ll have to just give her a pass on this tip.
Tip #3 tells the girls to practice walking, posing, and working on their flaws. Interestingly, though she was the fourth girl eliminated, Felicia was one of the few models we saw practicing her posing in a mirror (the other being Whitney). Practicing didn’t turn out to matter much anyway - Benny Ninja told her she was a natural at posing. It’s unfortunate (and somewhat ironic) that in a week where posing was the focus, Felicia, one of the competition’s best posers, was eliminated.
Tip #4 is that personality counts. We didn’t get to see much of Felicia’s personality, and she didn’t stand out from the other girls all that much, but I liked what we did see of her. My favorite moment of hers was during the first photo shoot, when she took on a fake British accent while talking to Nigel (and almost fooled him into thinking she wasn’t faking).
Felicia seemed like a nice girl who got along pretty well with the others, except for an encounter with Jaslene and a few moments with Renee, according to her interview with recapper Phil.
The fifth tip says to focus on yourself, not the other girls. Felicia sort of did the opposite of this, spending a lot of time with the other girls and helping them out with their problems, but I don’t think it hurt her. It looked to me like Felicia was the sort of girl the others went to when they were having problems. She taught Jael a dance when she was feeling down, and she helped Brittany out with her weave (thank goodness, since Brittany’s whining was getting to be too much). However, when the time came to work, Felicia focused on what she needed to do and didn’t let the drama in the house distract her.
Tip #6 tells the girls to roll with the punches and not fight with the judges. Felicia seemed to always listen to the judges, though it was easy for her because she never received much criticism from them. Her feedback from the judges was so good that it would have been difficult for her to find a reason to NOT roll with the punches and go along with what they told her.
Away from the judges, Felicia tried her best during challenges and adjusted well to whatever was thrown at her. I think her attitude towards the competition was one of knowing that she was having fun and learning, and she was willing to try anything new that she was told to do.
The seventh tip says to show the judges you want to win. A big part of this tip is listening to the judges and learning from past experiences, taking suggestions and what you’ve been told in the past and applying them to each shoot and challenge. This is where I think Felicia faltered.
One thing the judges have repeated many times during both this cycle and past seasons is that “dead eyes” are not something they want to see in a photo. Felicia should have remembered this during the crime-scene photo shoot. She admitted that she wasn’t thinking about anything during her shoot - but how does not thinking make a good pose?
True, overthinking can cause trouble, as Sarah has learned this cycle, but thinking about nothing doesn’t exactly show a commitment to the shoot. Staring off into space without allowing a thought into your head isn’t modeling, and it doesn’t make the judges think that you know what you’re doing or that you’re trying to be a model.
The last tip is to be confident, not cocky. In her interview, Felicia stated that she isn’t sure why the judges thought she was cocky. Early in the competition - the first week, to be specific - I thought that Felicia was confident but realistic, and not cocky at all. I’m not sure if she grew cocky later on, as the judges thought she did, but she may have come across that way.
Thanks to her rave reviews in her early photo shoots, Felicia didn’t seem to have to do too much work in order to turn out good photos. However, because she was praised so much in her first three shoots, she might not have thought that she had to work too hard to take a good fourth photo. Plus, she was “Baby Tyra” - why wouldn’t the judges like her? This may have contributed to her downfall. If Felicia was so confident that she would take good photos no matter what, she may have come across looking cocky instead of self-assured.
All of the girls took good photos this week, and other than Renee, all of them did well in the challenge (and even though she didn’t finish, Renee still did well with her posing in the bank). It’s going to get harder and harder for the judges to decide who needs to be cut from the competition after each shoot. This week was the week where Felicia started to show her flaws - she didn’t put forth much effort in the crime-scene shoot, and she was so sure she would do well that she started to look cocky. In a week where all of the girls turned up their games, Felicia stood out as not turning up hers enough. That’s why she’s not a Top Model.
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out these other recent America’s Next Top Model articles:
Jenn Brasler is an Assistant Editor of Reality News Online and an aspiring writer from Falls Church, Virginia. By day she works for a court reporting firm, and by night she’s a spy for a covert branch of the CIA. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Jenn wonders how much longer Dionne can last in the competition since her personality hasn’t exactly shone either.
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